The War Against Silence is a weekly music review that's been running for nearly seven years now -- the prose is lyrical and the insights are terrific.
On the good nights, or at least, the reassuring nights, everybody knows her, and they gather in unnervingly intent arcs in front of her instruments, forming her words with their own mouths as she sings them, shouting requests in the breaks for songs she hasn't even finished writing yet. So the departure myths are easy enough to compose. She reaches the highway, once again, as if setting out on the next stage of a noble embassy, carrying some flickering torch from basin to basin. Gypsy tinkers would hang cups and plates off the outside of their carts so they'd rattle, informatively, as they pulled into town; maybe she should keep her guitar in an open tuning, bungeed to the roof rack, so that the interstate air could play it like an Aeolian harp, and as she came down off the exit ramps, and wove through these cities on the way to her tiny cafes and bookstores, people who need music would hear her pass, put down whatever they were doing, and bring their souls to her for renewal.Link Discuss
Here's my latest rant, a piece aimed at exhorting writers to align themselves with people who break the encryption on e-books instead of the people who prosecute them.
How, then, do we earn our living off of our work? When publishing inevitably includes an electronic edition, when unprotected copies of our work circulate freely, how do we compel readers to pay for our time and so keep a roof over our heads?Link Discuss
There are a couple possibilities: The first, of course, is that we can't. The world doesn't owe us a living. This may even serve copyright's goal -- the production of lots of creative material. After all, the vast majority of science fiction writers *don't* earn a living writing, but they do it anyway. Demanding recompense for your work when no one is willing to pay for it is rarely a productive strategy -- just ask a squeegee kid. It's possible that eliminating recompense for writing will barely affect the volume of material available: the fact that science fiction magazines are still drowning in great story submissions while paying the same word rates they offered in the 1930s sure suggests this.
A followup to the Dilbert Cubicle I posted a couple days back: A CNN interview with Fred Dust, the lead designer on the project. Link Discuss
Disney launches an Internet casino, using a loophole in gaming regs that lets them run it Stateside. Link Discuss
Is this the next Dmitry? An anonymous programmer has cracked the Digital Rights Management on Microsoft's MS Reader ebooks. Link Discuss
Here's a novel way to commit felony harrassment: Kill an alligator, dress it up like a Federal Wildlife Marshall, put a Marshall's nametag on its jacket and leave it where it'll be discovered by tourists. Link Discuss
(via Exciting Monkeybum Stories for Boys and Girls
A Chinese paper is reporting that Disney is building a themepark in Beijing to coincide with the 2008 Olympics. Since I just sold a science fiction novel where one of the major plot points revolves around the construction of a Disney park in Beijing in 500 years or so, this kinda depresses me. Link Discuss
(Thanks, Stefan and Pat!
The Wombles of Wimbleton Common were a terrific British kids' show (though I later read and fell in love with Michael DeLarabetti's Borribles
books, and realized how terribly saccharine the Wombles really were). Here's a link to the Wombles' songs, which are funny and British as all get out. Link Discuss
23 days later, I have a new iBook. The wrong iBook. One with a 10GB drive. My old iBook -- not so old! less than 60 days old when it broke! -- had a 20GB drive. Goddamn
! What the hell does it take to get a repair or replacement out of Apple? Discuss
Chilling Salon story documents the plight of a hapless journo who wrote an article that documented the history of the Ringling Brothers' Circus and ended up the victim of a campaign of harassment orchestrated by an ex-CIA spook in the circus's employ.
Get dirt on her, he said. Ruin her professionally ... and why not personally, too? Perhaps they could recruit "a bodybuilder type" to seduce her and wreck her marriage, he told his sidekick, vice-president Charles Smith, according to depositions that would later be filed in court. Nothing's out of bounds. Spread rumors. Throw dirt. Report back to me personally on your progress right away, Feld was reported as saying. And for as long as it takes.Link Discuss
This amazing and disturbing map shows graphs the worldwide signs of global climate change from early spring arrivals to riding sealevels to disease outbreaks. Link Discuss
The military applications for P2P are stunning. O'Reilly Networks' Richard Koman interviews the Chief Scientist and Technical Director for the U.S. Army Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation Command, and gets an earful.
Koman: Back to peer to peer -- does it seem ironic at all that you're applying some of the concepts that come from some of these services that are fairly subversive at least as far as the recording industry is concerned. You know, Napster-style ideas applied to military technology.Link Discuss
Macedonia: I don't think it's subversive. The only interesting thing about Napster was that they came up with a really good scheme for sharing music. I mean this subversive thing is just in terms of the way that the RIAA or the MPAA looks at this technology and sees it as a threat to IP rights.
Boyoboyboy is this cool. By sending malformed packets to random computers on the Internet, you can distribute a large (think SET@home, distributed.net) problem and get solutions in the checksums that the computers send back. The implications of this are mind-croggling: You can use a Denial of Service attack to do protein folding to discover a cure for AIDS. Link Discuss
is Reality TV -- eBay is working on a TV series that'll be a cross between "Antiques Roadshow" and "Real People." Link Discuss
Amazing corporate history of Lego, and the turbulent times it finds itself in ever since it started licensing Star Wars
characters and settings and moved from free-form play to kits. Link Discuss
There's a Smoking Gun book coming out! These guys are more consistently funny than The Onion, if you ask me. Link Discuss
The world's governments are legislating the use of Open Source software in state agencies and corporations. Link Discuss